Posts Tagged ‘Social Networking’

The birth of Social networks gave rise to social media addiction; the introduction of Smart Phones concerted and established this societal-derogatory venom. Quote me anywhere; social media, especially the social networks have done more harm than good to this generation. [It’s to me, first a basic fact.] This might not be because it was meant for harm, but it has been employed for such cause by “the one who rules the things of this World.” The clamor here and there that the internet, as an advantage, unites the World, making it a global village is just one part of the story for the full truth is not been told. The concluding truth about this is that it will only facilitate the establishment of the One-World Government and aide the work of the anti-christ in near time to come. [These are thought for another day, though]; i.e, besides the evil being perpetrated by the Social Media Daily.

I am highly fascinated by mobile technology and cannot hide my sheer appreciation for the advancement and feat being achieved in the media and communication industries lately. But more important than my fascination, is the truth underlying this whole venture. What truth?  That these technology gadgets have been designed to kill you and I, but least have we realized this.

I have followed the specs of the new Apple Corporation’s iPhone 6 and 6plus, which was released September 19th in the US. By 12th September, iPhone 6 have already been pre-ordered by millions of people around the globe. Surprisingly, in the same week of iPhone 6 release, Apple sold 10 million copies of the phone according to an Apple representative. Isn’t this outrageous??? Today, the cheapest you can purchase iPhone 6 in Nigeria is about 209,999 naira. To add to this fascination is the “fantabuluous” Blackberry Passport, of Blackberry 10.3 BB10 make. What a device! It was launched globally in London, Toronto and Dubai on September 24th, 2014, at 599 dollars, then. It sold over 200,000 in 2 days of release and the Number 1 selling unlocked phone on Amazon.com within just hours of release. Now, this is besides other devices such as the Super sleek slim tablets, palm-tops, iPads and other mobile devices that allow us express and easy access to the internet and smooth communication between and among countries, societies and civilization. While we rejoice for these advancements, I am greatly worried for my generation and for my unborn kids. Would they be safe in such a society?

If you took time to follow the preceding trail of talk, all you see is a World driven by intense craving for the things of this World…picture of a society so concerned, and working tirelessly to satisfy its lust for the things of this age. Where is the place of God in our lives?

Therefore, Social Media addiction is the intense dependence upon and use of the various social media/ network. Persistent use, passionate acquisition; uncontrolled use, competitive possession, all constitute social media addiction. You are addicted to social media/ networks when you ‘love it’; when it takes the bulk of you time and resources daily without yielding constructive positive outcome. When it begins to dictate your lifestyle and set the course for your existence. When it ceases your love and captures your heart. When it takes God’s place and time and stands a god in your life; then you are beginning to lose it.

In His narrative, Pastor Chris Delvan Gwamna said “life can hardly exist in a vacuum, we are consistently under certain influences and our urge for props, stuff, adventure, substances alcohol among others is ever present. Our generation is one at risk to be an addict generation. There is no shortage of options to be hooked on; some people are at a point where they are unconsciously developing one addiction, some are currently grappling with one, while some are struggling to get out of one.”

One thing you must become aware of is the fact that: influence is a product of any kind of interaction, whatsoever. In fact, it is the goal of every kind of interaction. This in turn breeds continual dependence upon the “influencing-obect”, thereby giving birth to the addiction circle. Many Christian youths out there are unaware of the gradual subtle influence of the social media and have fallen to the addiction, thus. Unawares, they believe their interaction with the media is good so far.

Just evaluate: how long do you spend online every day? How constructively productive is your time spent online? Do you constantly share your experiences with the social networks? I mean your Break-ups, fights, relationships, even your locations and personal experiences? Gone are the days of diaries. Facebook is now the new World-class Diary. How much do you esteem your phones and devices? How do you feel when you cannot go online for a while? How do you react when you cannot find your phone or device? Do you know why you go crazy? It is not because of your contacts…that is what you always say. It’s because you have wrapped your life around your phone; because it is your new found love. It is because your whole life is in it. If your phone is to be analyzed, it will tell everything about you.

Our Smart phones have been designed to be addictive. Every single activity comes with a notification alert so you are forced to refer to it each moment. These devices have been carefully designed to greatly appeal to users and actively engage us. Highly interactive and easily usable. But the question is this: were they designed to do just what we were told?

“Our generation is one at risk to be an addict generation”. Not just addicted to drugs and substances, but to the media, to social networks and gadgets. To the the internet and the technology of this age. As a result also, to the civilization (beliefs, religions, ideas, gods, etc) of this generation. That is what addiction to the media does. It links us up with destiny-destroying and life-killing agents.

There is only one way out for young believers who want to be earthly relevant, yet heavenly conscious; those who want to strike the balance between interacting with this World and living for God. And that is dealing with the social media addiction.

Therefore:

All things are lawful unto me but not all things are expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

— 1 Corinthians 6.12

download (2)

God grant us grace to overcome. Keep faith!

Advertisements

In our opening our opening series of social networking/ media on Christian youths I laid a foundation as to what is the social network/ media; who is the Christian youth and why we have to examine the interaction of the former and the latter. This rest on the undeniable fact that:
Nothing has so touched entirely the soul of human existence; after God, it is the social Network/ Media.
In today’s dealings, nothing has so exerted direct impact on the lives of of both men and women alike; young and old; rich and poor; the farmer and the Teacher alike; the student and the working class; the unbeliever and the child of God- nothing has so alter our lifestyle, culture, principles, norms dreams, aspirations; even our society in a whole…but the social Network/ Media.
From the African perspective, it use to be a “thing” of the western culture. Today, the story is different: it has broken into our homes- our very living rooms. Even the conservative Arab societies that have struggled to close their doors to “western encroachment” can now no longer keep them away. Thanks to satellite TVs (DSTV on the fore), internet, mobile technology, etc.
The social Media/ Network has crossed boundaries, it has bridge gaps, connected continents, linked nations. It has even surmounted great hurdles and barriers of the most hostile communities of the world, even those against the gospel. What a wonder! Isn’t this a great tool for Christian evangelism? Well this is a thought to be discussed in upcoming series.
Therefore, what is this that has so touched the soul of human existence? Shouldn’t it be a concern to the Believer? Let me quickly say, it is nearly impossible to be alive, at least in any developed, developing or underdeveloped society and not make any kind of contact with any of the social medias/ networks.
As a result, what is the consequence of the impact of social media/ Network on the life of a believer? How must this be handled? (Please, refer to the first in this series. Particularly: Principles for Engagement in Social Networking for a Believer). In establishing the effect of social Networking/ the media on the life of a Believer, I’d like to first establish that Social Media/ Network in a whole is not a bad invention. It is not a sin therefore, to engage in social networking or interact with the media. What makes it bad or a sin is how we use it or what we use it for or in a broader sense, how we allow its bad influence to rub on us and thus affect our walk with God. Of course, therefore, the social media has advantages which it presents to us. Rather than say advantages and disadvantages, we will examine its effects on the Believer, especially youths, and the implication of such.
Some of these include;
Deep engrossment/ abuse of the Social Networks/ Media- 1 Corinthians 7.31 warns that those who make use of the things of this world must be careful not to be engrossed or deeply involved in/with them or carried away by them. What has been the attitude of young people towards these things today? It is pertinent to know and admit that the internet, mobile communication, the satellites, home videos, etc, all, like drugs, have great tendencies to be addictive. They are designed to be interactive, thus have a way of engaging the users’ whole sense. So, when the Christian youth does not take note of this, the problem begins. Deep engrossment or uncontrolled use of the social media disassociates us from faith-building lifestyles. For example, a survey I read some years ago suggests that many of the young people who use blackberry smart phones end up sleeping off most nights- holding their blackberry in their hands. (Funny enough, it has happened to me). This suggest excessive us. Now if Blackberry use is the last thing a young person will do every night before sleep and very early in the mornings; where is then the place of devotions in the morning and night. Some might argue that devotions must not necessarily be early in the morning. But the issue is what eludes your heart and seizes your passion stays on the fore of your daily interaction. Therefore, this uncontrolled use has weakened faith building lifestyles like devotions, fellowships, meditations, reaching out, etc.
Many times, young people have been found “2go-ing”, “whatsapp-ing”, “facebook-ing” or even watching videos or listening to music with their media devices- in church- during worship. This denotes sheer addiction due to deep uncontrolled engrossment in social media activities. It has caused Christian youths to lose reverence for God. Mike Everett, in his piece on social media, points out that “the seduction of social media can suck us in, and before we know it we are becoming more influenced by the noise around us than we are by the word of God working within us.” As a result, we ought to strike some balance between our relationship with God (…time spent with Him…studying the Word, fellowshipping with Believers, praying, etc) and social network/ media involvement.
Decision-making/ Interaction with others-
The goal of interaction or socialization or relationship (whether human or electronic) is INFLUNCE! All forms of interaction yields influence; i.e., whether those involved are aware of it or not, one is influencing the other. Hanging out with a group of friends engaging in bad behavior and say you are not involved is a lie to one’s self. For the impact is gradual and in time one will find one’s self actively involved on the group’s bad behavior.
Inferentially, the Christian youth must be aware that he/she is constantly being been influenced by what he/she see or hear or engaged in on the social media; and more importantly, know that they also influence those with whom they interact either positively or negatively. For example, the “African culture” has been infiltrated by the Western lifestyle. How? Via the social media of course. Step out into our streets and see; from the mode of dressing, the way we speak, act (conduct ourselves), interact, etc. Very heartbreaking is the sight of the negative effects of this influence. The media has gone further to influnce our belief about love, relationship, sex, marriage etc. some years back I was talking to a sister about what they learn from these soap operas (My Eternal, Last Chance, etc) they watch: she proudly shared that they learn about how to love their spouses; about life; relationship, etc. [The media today is filled with lies.] check the lives of the so called celebrities and Actors you are looking up to; they can hardly even keep their homes, most live in divorce, they sleep around; having one scandal or the other. With all humility is ask, how can such a person teach you about love or life, sex, relationship or marriage? How? Where is God’s place in the whole matter?
What we learn from the social media as whole must not be the basis of our decision making in life. This is to say, we must not allow it to model our lives because the Word of God must be our yardstick in interacting with the World.
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed there to according to Thy Word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart I might not sin against Thee.” Psalms 19:9,1.
God’s word must be our only influence…allow it to engulf you.
Pornography/ Sex-Provoking Clips and Song-
The social media/ Network has been the Fastest Avenue for the spread of sex clips, pornographic pictures, sex-provoking songs, sex items, etc., among young people. Some few years ago an act called “SEX-TING” came up. This refers to the sharing of nude pictures amongst friends using mostly MMS. This means you don’t have to do online or use words. Young people have also been found to engage in sex chats on social networks, even via phone calls, on 2go, BBM, whatsapp, etc. Many engage in sex online. The internet is filled with hundreds of sex/ pornographic sites. To bring it even closer, social networks are hosting (either with or without their knowledge) sex chat rooms, groups, pages, etc as the case maybe; on facebook, whatsapp, 2go, BBM, etc. the internet has developed its own world of sexual immorality.
What about the phones of young people today? Unfortunately Christians inclusive- it has become a harbor of blue films, sex photos, sex-provoking songs and music videos, etc. Friends, I do not give you tales. I write you what I have confirmed first hand in my years of interacting with young people, their phones, and the internet. If you are not ready to keep a working relationship with God, then the social media should be the last place you ‘wanna’ be or engage in- trust me! For you’ll be totally lured and be a tool for mass destruction.
“For this is the will of God, even our sanctification, that yea should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to posses his vessel in sanctification and honour.” 1Thesselonians 4.3-4.
It is God’s will that we all remain sexually pure.
Idols and gods-
Jefferson Bethke, our famous guy of Spoken Words said:
”We mock and we laugh at the Israelites’ Golden Calf but we do the same thing right back it just looks a little different than that. So question: what’s on your throne… what defines you? What do you give ultimate worth? And what if taken will bring ultimate hurt? Now see, that is your god…”
Our BlackBerry phones, iPhones, iPads, Kindles, Tablets, DSTVs, soap operas, internet, social network…have succeeded over the years in becoming the god of many. They have become the things we value more than mid-week services, church bible study, youth fellowship, personal quie-time, evangelism, prayers, etc. Can you imagine the sudden swap!
Many young people prefer to hang-out on facebook than go for youth fellowship; to watch the popular “10am to 11am” morning program than to spend time praying for a friend. Others could have sleepless nights when they lost their blackberry or iPad but would not even be sad over a lost sinner. What an irony! Some would rather get an iphone than lend the money for a friends school fees or pay to watch football instead of giving a friend lunch money.
Our craze or love for the media must not supersede our devotion to God. When this happens, we begin to make idols of them.
”For zeal for Thy house hath eaten me up…” Psalms 69.9
What takes your passion and zeal? What are you most enthusiastic about? When it is other than God then you are not on the right path.
If you have been following you must have noticed all of the effets discussed above are negative. That is not to say that there are no positive effects for believers, no. There are, but these ones and more have threatened our faith over time.
One great importance of the social media especially to the church is the fact that it serves a great tool for Christian evangelism. (This effect will be featured exclusively in an up-coming piece). This is because social networking sites and of course the media, cut across boundaries. As stated in the introductory article, the social media has “penetrated the hardest of barriers; they have broken the strongest of resistance” all to unite different civilizations and cultures- it is therefore a sure-effective tool for Christian evangelism.
Social network/ media has also bridged the gap among different Christian groups and Ministers all over the World. It has facilitated interaction amongst believers worldwide. Sharing challenges, ideas, and testimonies…about what God is doing in other Nations. Instant needs for intercession has also been broadcasted severally across the world via the media. In addition, social networks have been a point of Christian youth interaction. For example COCIN has its facebook Group [CHURCH OF CHRIST IN NATIONS (COCIN)], COCIN RCC JOS Youths also have their facebook Group (COCIN YOUTH FELLOWSHIP RCC JOS), and so on. There we have nice time discussing and sharing about God online. I also operate a Christian Youth Blog “SOCIAL NETWORK/MEDIA AND THE CHRISTIAN YOUTH”; you can find that on: http://www.realphidims.wordpress.com. We also operate a facebook “PRAYER ROOM” where we prayer on matters with testimonies. On Whatsaap we also interact on the RCC Jos Youth platform.
Here is the bottom-line: to live for Jesus even while online, not change our colours in anonymity.
In conclusion, to build a healthy online lifestyle, we must try to answer the questions: what do I do when online? How much time do I spend online? How do I interact online? Do I glorify God? What if my parents, youth leader, Pastor or even Jesus check my phone would they be pleased? Do I have dark corners on my laptop or phone? Do I have secret facebook, 2go, or twitter accounts with which is do evil? Finally, do I remain a believer even when online?
God help us build a healthy christian lifestyle as we run this race.

In Opening:
According to the US Census Bureau, the World population is estimated at 7, 045,493, 590 people at the start of 2013. Therefore, there are about 7.5b people on earth. The National Population Commission (NPC) has estimated the current population of people resident in Nigeria to be 167 million as at 2006, with a 2.3% growth rate per annum. If my calculations are right population is estimated to 174, 260, 869 people in Nigeria. According to my estimate, more than 70% of the World’s and Nigeria’s Population respective is exposed to the Social Media.
“Nothing has so touched entirely the soul of human existence; after God – it is the Social Media”.
– Philip Dimka
Psychological studies have revealed that nature of which humans are part of is characterized by interaction/relationship/Socialization. Since Bible times we find that man has always sought to connect and relate first to Divinity (God) and to man. E.g. Adam and God; Adam and Eve; Cain and Abel, etc.
Thus; the world is connected, we are all linked up in a sense; hardly can anything be achieved is isolation of self – for nothing has ever been achieved so. Therefore, the need for Socialization, even Social Media/Network.

SOCIAL NETWORK/MEDIA
The main way that large number of people receives information and entertainment, i.e. T.V, Radio, News Paper.
The word “Social” means connected with society and the way it is organized. Also, connected with activities in which people meet each other for pleasure. On the other hand, “network” means a closely connected group of people, etc, that exchange information. it has also been defined as a number of computers and other devices that are connected together so that equipment and information can be shared. – Oxford Advanced Learn Dictionary 6th Edition.
Therefore Social Network is an interconnected medium/avenue where people (call over the world) meet to share information, entertainment basically for pleasure. in other words, a device or platform that allows you connect with others and share information/entertainment – “online of offline” is a Social network/ Media.
Social Networking is the act of engaging the social network.

CHRISTIAN YOUTHS
These are young people who have the mind of Christ; they bear/share his attitude Phil 2.5. They follow or are followers of Christ.
WHY THE STUDY?
“Nothing has so touched entirely the soul of human existence; after God – it is the social media” – Philip Dimka.
We cannot live in a world and not involved with it, be productive within it. Therefore, to be productive, we need to interact with the world. 1Thes 4:11, 12. So there is no just how we can avoid the social media, directly or indirectly. We have to be Heavenly conscious and while Earthly relevant.

SOCIAL NETWORKING/MEDIA
Top 6 most popular Social Networking sites as at December, 2013.
1. Facebook – 750,000,000 monthly visitors
2. Twitter – 250,000,000 ;; ;;
3. Linkedin – 110,000,000 ;; ;;
4. Pinterest – 85,000,000 ;; ;;
5. Google+ – 65,000,000 ;; ;;
6. Orkut, meetup, mylife, etc.
This is just outrageous! Imagine all these people online! This definitely includes you and I.
Top Mobile Social Networking/ Media
1. BBM Television
2. Whatsapp Radio
3. 2go Newspaper
4. Baddoo Cable networks
5. Eskimi, ect Satelite networks
These have penetrated the hardest of barriers; they have broken the strongest or resistance. They are a sure tool of Christian evangelism.
Social Networks/Media have become an addiction amongst Christian Youths. Young people spend long minutes, even hours online or attached to the media… doing what? Is the question that needs to be answered and answered well.
Should Christian Youths be engage in social networking? Another mind bugging one…
PRINCIPLES OF ENGAGEMENT IN SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR A BELIEVER
1. Ecclesiastes 12.13
The Christian Social Networker must first perform his or her duty of meeting God first, before he/she is qualified to meet and interact with the world. This is the Whole duty of man- to devote himself to His maker. only on God is man fit to interact with His world. All we do online is under the heavenly radar and will be accredited to us before God. Many people find the social networks and media a place to hide and do all sort…but that’s a deception of the devil. Take roots first in God- downward and bear fruits upward.

2. 1 Corinthians 7: 29
The Christian Social Networker must know that Time is short. Eph 5: 15-16. And thus we must make proper use of the available time of grace given us by God. First, by not wasting it by spending long stupendous hours online; and making proper use of time spent interacting with the media world. When the believer has this in mind, abuse of these social network/ media is avoided.

3. 1 Corinthians 7:29,31
The Social networker must not be deeply engrossed and therefore lost in the activity! As actors in this world, we must not be too involved with this world that we get lost in it. This is because the days are evil. Eph 5:16b. the Bible in 2Peter 2.8 made it clear how Lot the just man living among the unrighteous in Sodom, was tortured in his soul daily with what He saw and heard of their evil and wicked deeds. Lot lived among them. The more we deeply engross our self with the things of this world our righteous souls ll suffer corruption. You will bear me witness of what the media presents us today. We shall separately discuss that.

4. 1Cor 10:31, Col. 3: 17-23
The Social networker must interact in a godly manner, he/she must post, share and promote Jesus, even online. This is because Christ is our identity and we must live Him daily. Because, if we are ashamed of Him or deny Him online, he will do same to us before His Father.
These guidelines and even more will guide the young believers in his/her interaction with the world through the social Network/Media. 1Corin 7:31 draws our attention to the fact that we are in this world thus we ought to interact with it – to make benefit of it but importantly must not be “engrossed” in it or “abuse it”. Why? It answers that the time is short and the days are evil. Short: we might be lost in it as time might catch up with us; evil: it can corrupt us and turn our hearts against God.
As a child of God therefore, you must answer these questions: what do you do when you come online (2go, BBM, twitter, facebook, etc)? Does it equal that which you spend with God? What kind of programs/ films do you watch? Do they teach you about God? Are they pure, excellent, worthy of a believer? We can go on and on. As we look forward to more series about this topic, I will like us to close this introductory part with Philippians 4:8.
Finally brethren, whatever things are true…honest…just…pure…lovely of good report. If there be any virtue…praise, thinks on these things.
God keep you.